Don’t Overlook Prolific German Artist Max Beckmann (a Picasso & Braque Contemporary)

Malepartus (Blatt 8) from Die Hölle

Malepartus (Blatt 8) from Die Hölle Max Beckmann, 1919

As a contemporary of Picasso, Braque and Toulouse-Lautrec, the work of German painter, sculptor and printmaker Max Beckmann is often overlooked. Born in Germany, Beckmann fled the country in 1937 when Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition opened in Munich.

A prolific painter, I particularly like his black and white lithographs in the “Hell” series, which he based on post-WWI Berlin (also one of my favorite cities in the world). His use of dark, heavy, descriptive lines to craft emotionally and politically-charged portraits spoke to the style that I was always drawn to in my own work as an artist, and as a storyteller.

The Museum of Modern Art has 222 of his works as part of their permanent collection, including Hell (Die Hölle). And there is a Brooklyn tie-in as well; Max Beckmann taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in for just over a year prior to his death in 1950.

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Don’t Overlook Prolific German Artist Max Beckmann (a Picasso & Braque Contemporary)